Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse and addiction are still serious problems that people face every day. It can be very difficult for someone seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, or even to admit to a problem.

If you believe that you may have a problem with alcohol addiction, look for these signs and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Forms of Alcohol Problems

Alcohol addiction has many signs that are similar to those of other drug addictions. Since alcohol is legal, many people do not recognize that they have a problem as they believe that what they're doing is fine. It is important to know the two types of issues a person can have with alcohol. According to the OWH, they are:

  • Alcohol Abuse - "A pattern of drinking that is harmful to the drinker or others." A person in this situation is not physically dependent on alcohol.
  • Alcoholism - Alcoholism "is a disease." It becomes worse over time and is defined by cravings for alcohol, physical dependence, and a building up of a tolerance for alcohol.

Addiction is defined by the same terms listed above. Therefore, alcoholism is a form of addiction. There are many signs an individual who drinks consistently may exhibit which point to alcohol addiction.

Behavioral Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism has many behavioral signs. Because "alcoholism is based in the brain," it changes brain functions just as drug addiction does (OWH). According to the NLM, here are some behavioral signs of alcohol addiction:

  • Drinking Alone
  • Continuing to drink, "even when your health, work, or family are being harmed."
  • Becoming "stirred up, excited, or tense" while drinking
  • Shirking responsibilities (work, school, family life) in order to drink
  • Becoming "hostile when asked about your drinking"
  • Making excuses in order to drink
  • Trying to hide the use of alcohol or hiding alcohol around the house or office.
  • Needing to "use alcohol on most days to get through the day"

The final sign is one that is often felt by addicts. They become completely dependent on the drug, in this case, alcohol. Dependency and tolerance are the strongest signs of addiction, and a person who builds up a tolerance to alcohol will need to drink more and more in order to feel the same effects.

Physical Signs oF Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction causes many physical signs that a person could look for in him or herself or in a loved one who does not want to talk about a possible alcohol addiction. They are:

  • Weight loss due to poor eating habits
  • The act of shaking "in the morning or after periods when you have not had a drink"
  • Inflammation of the liver, scarring, and/or cirrhosis, symptoms of which "vary, based on how bad the disease is," but may include: Abdomen Pain and Swelling, Nausea and Vomiting, Fatigue, Jaundice (Yellowing) of "Skin, Mucous Membranes, or Eyes", Red Spider-Veins on Skin, Itching and "Numbness in Legs and Feet" (NLM).
  • A person who suffers from alcoholism is just as in need of treatment as someone struggling with drug addiction. Alcohol is an addictive substance that causes many health and behavior-related issues. Looking for these signs will help you decide whether or not a person is truly addicted to alcohol.

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